Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Want to Work in Publishing? Start by Getting an Internship!

The weather warmed up this weekend, and maybe that got you thinking that summer’s right around the corner. No? Well, maybe not. But maybe you’ve noticed at least a few groups of people already looking ahead to summer; summer internship postings have been springing up on job boards at an increasingly rapid past these past few weeks. If you’re interested in a career in publishing, or even in exploring your options in the book world, perhaps you’ve noticed.

And good on you if you have! Whether you’re a student, a recent graduate looking for some entry-level exposure, or an established professional looking for make a career switch, you shouldn’t pass these opportunities up lightly. This may not be true in every industry, but in publishing a good internship experience is still one of the best ways to get into the business. They offer valuable exposure to the actual process of acquiring, editing, producing and marketing a book; they allow you to begin developing a discerning editorial eye under the watch of the industry’s most skilled players; and they give you a chance to make friends and connections who, in a small community like the book industry, will appear in your life again and again.

But, especially with the economy and the industry suffering, they can be hard to get, and if you’re feeling a little lost as application deadlines loom, I don’t blame you! I was really fortunate to hold five fabulous internships during my journey into publishing, and finding each one of them was an adventure. I don’t know everything about getting into the industry, but I learned a lot from each of my searches. And, Writer Friends, I’d like to share it with you!

So as you get your application materials together over the next couple of weeks, remember to stop by Trac Changes to see what’s going on. Each week I’ll post a new segment of my Guide to Getting a Totally Sweet Internship in Publishing. Topics will include networking, how to approach your cover letter, types of internships to consider, and more. But don’t shy away from those buzz words—this will be a lot more fun than going to your school’s career center. Promise.

See you next week for the first installment!

Update: In case you're catching up in reverse, here are the episodes:

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